Any new book by Neil Gaiman always goes right to the top of my reading list, but it took me a while to finally sit down and read this collection of short stories, called Trigger Warning. The introduction is just as well written as the stories (and few poems). In it, he writes: “What we read as adults should be read, I think, with no warnings or alters beyond, perhaps: enter at your own risk. We need to find out what fiction is, what it means, to us, and experience that is going to be unlike anyone else’s experience of the story.” As I read the selections, I found myself putting sticky notes on a few stories I wanted to use in class.
One story, “Click Clack Rattlebag,” I found a recording of online from the NYPL with Gaiman himself reading it. This story serves as a great reading on Halloween–or any other time you need a scary story. I am thinking of using this along with Stephen King’s “Strawberry Spring” and some other scary stories to teach the art of the short story.
Another tale, “Down to a Sunless Sea” might work well with Moby Dick, as it tells the story of a mother who loses her son, husband, and lover to the sea. It would work well on its own, but I’m trying next year to add in short stories to supplement longer works.
Even if you aren’t looking for stories to use in class, this collection is entertaining in its own right. I devoured it in a weekend and highly recommend it!